April 22-28 is National Infertility Awareness Week.
I hope you'll join myself and many others this week as
we blog (and vlog) to help raise awareness for infertility.
I will also be talking about different ways that you can get involved.
And I hope you do. The first thing you can do is
The theme is "Don't Ignore..."
Infertility can be a heartbreaking journey.
It takes your desire to be a parent and grow your family,
and it dangles it just out of reach.
It puts obstacle after obstacle in your way -
getting diagnosed, finding a specialist, seeking treatment
Cycle after cycle you muster every ounce of hope you can find,
and all too often your hopes are dashed with the promise that
if you just do another cycle, it'll work next time.
charting, blood draws, ultrasounds
Appointment after appointment, day after day
You take pills that make you sweat, irritable, maybe a little crazy.
You become an expert in preparing your injections.
You learn the perfect amount of time to hold an ice pack against
your stomach so that the shot does not burn and sting, but only aches.
Hoping, Praying, Pleading
You spend hours driving to doctors, waiting in uncomfortable
chairs, ignoring the tables filled with pregnancy magazines.
The nurses all know you by name, and they give you a slow,
sympathetic nod when you return to start another cycle of treatment.
It's draining financially, emotionally, and physically.
But it's even worse when your struggle
is ignored by those closest to you.
When no one calls to see how your follicle study went.
When no one offers condolences when it fails, again.
When no one asks how you're feeling.
Sometimes it seems like you and your partner are adrift in the sea.
Clutching to a life raft of hope, with the island out of reach,
and on the mainland family and friends walk around oblivious.
And I think that perhaps it's worse if they know of your struggle,
but still don't reach out.
Leaving you to figure it out on your own.
All too willing to celebrate once you have good news to share,
but unable to walk with you during the journey.
Others go on, living their lives, growing their family.
And while their news stings in the moment,
and the jealousy is undeniably there at first,
it's the feelings of abandonment that stick around.
How could someone so excited about their own baby
not sympathize with the agony of infertility?
Consider the extreme joy of pregnancy, and invert it.
I know that it's easier to just ignore it.
It must be hard. What words could possibly erase the pain of infertility?
It must seem like the ground is littered with egg shells and land mines
just waiting for you to make the wrong move, say the wrong thing.
But the solution is not to ignore it. Infertility is a struggle and
your support is needed more than you know.
Years from now, you can be remembered for your silence
or for your support - for your effort - for your kindness.
Even if the words get jumbled and they're not perfect,
if your motives are pure, deep down they'll know.
And they'll be thankful that someone recognizes their pain.
Because that's all you can do, really.
Recognize their pain, recognize the journey,
recognize the eventual reward they're working towards.
With 1 in 8 couples facing infertility,
no doubt you know someone that is affected.
Call them. Write an email. Send a card.
Hug them. Love them. Support them.
Even when it's tough.
But please, don't ignore them.
To learn more about infertility, visit:
For more information about National Infertility Awareness Week, visit: http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html